'The Hurt Locker', a gritty Iraq war drama, swept the Oscars this year by winning six trophies with Kathryn Bigelow creating history by becoming the first woman director to win an Academy Award.
The USD 16 million film about the travails of a US bomb disposal squad trounced James Cameron's 'Avatar' to win the Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Editing, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing trophies. It was nominated in nine categories along with the sci-fi blockbuster.
'Avatar', which was in a neck-and-neck race with 'The Hurt Locker', won three golden statuettes --for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Visual Effects.
"It is a moment of lifetime. I am so honoured to be sitting in this extraordinary company of powerful filmmakers, who have inspired me. I would not be standing here but for Boal (writer) and the extraordinary cast and the technicians. I would like to dedicate this award to the women and men in the military and pray that they come home safe," said the 58-year-old Bigelow.
Only three women have ever been nominated in the Best Director category in 80-year-old history of the Academy.
The 82nd Academy Awards, which was held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, had no surprises in the acting categories with favourites Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) and Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) winning the trophies for the Best Actor and Best Actress respectively.
Unlike last year, when Mumbai-based potboiler 'Slumdog Millionaire' walked away with eight Oscars, including trophies for A R Rahman and Resul Pukutty, it was a blank for India this time. 'Kavi', a short Hindi film about modern day slavery in India, lost out to Danish film 'The New Tenants' in the Short Film (Live Action) category.
Bridges, 60, who won his first Oscar for his portrayal of alcoholic country singer Bad Blake in 'Crazy Heart', beat off competition from Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney (Up In The Air), Morgan Freeman (Invictus), Jeremy Renner 'The Hurt Locker' and Colin Firth (A Single Man).
"I would like to thank my mom and dad for this. I remember my mom taking me to the showbiz parties and dad giving me acting lessons. I am an extension of them and this award is an honour to them," said Bridges, who then went on to thank his director, cast and the crew as well as his wife of 33-years.
Bullock, also a first timer, took home the trophy for the Best Actress for her role as Leigh Anne Touhy in 'The Blind Side', a film about a feisty Southern homemaker, who changes the life of a troubled African American teenager.
The 45-year-old actress beat off competition from veteran actress like Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia, Dame Helen Mirren (The Last Station) and newcomers Carey Mulligan (An Education), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious).
"Did I really earn this or did I just wear you all down? I would like to thank the Academy for allowing me in the last month to have the most incredible ride with rooms full of artists...," said Bullock, dedicating her award to "moms across the world". Actress Mo'Nique, who plays abusive mother in 'Precious', gave an emotional speech after winning the Best Supporting Actress trophy.
"I thank the Academy for proving that it can be about performance and not the politics," said Mo'Nique. The award for Best Supporting Actor went to Austrian Christoph Waltz for his role as Jew-slaying Nazi in Quentin Tarantino's 'Inglourious Basterds'.
'Crazy Heart' also won in the Best Original Song category for 'The Weary King (Theme from Crazy Heart).
Disney-Pixar's film 'Up', which is also nominated for the best picture, won the Oscar for the Best Animation Film. It received a second award in the Best Original Score category.
'Precious' won its second award for the Best Adapted Screenplay, which went to Geoffrey Fletcher for his adaptation of novel 'Push' by Sapphire.
The award for Best Short Film '(Animated) went to 'Logorama' by Nicolas Schmerkin while 'Music by Prudence' by Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett won in the Best Documentary (Short Subject) category.
Best Costume Design award went to opulent period drama 'The Young Victoria' while the trophy for Best Make-Up went to the futuristic franchise 'Star Trek'.
The award for the Best Documentary (Feature) went to 'The Cove', which depicts the illegal slaughter of Dolphins in Japan. Argentinian film 'El Secreto de Sus Ojos' (The Secret In Their Eyes) won the award for the Best Foreign Film.
The Governor's award were received by Hollywood veterans, producer-executive John Kalley, Actress Lauren Bacall, producer-director Roger Corman and Cinematographer Gordon Willis.
The Academy also paid a tribute to 'Home Alone' director John Hughes, Patrick Swayze, 'King of Pop' Michael Jackson, actress Brittany Murphy and Jean Simmons, who passed away recently. PTI